Everyone loves Thanksgiving, but let’s be honest, it can get expensive, especially when you have several guests to feed. But I’ve got a great little Thanksgiving hack for you. Well okay, maybe two. Thanksgiving hack number one: make these Mini Pumpkin Pies. You get twelve servings with half the amount of ingredients used for a regular-sized pumpkin pie. So instead of trying to slice one pie into razor-thin slices so that everyone gets a bite, be the star of the show with these adorable little Mini Pumpkin Pies. Everyone will die over their cuteness and you’ll be smiling with satisfaction because you just fed more people with fewer ingredients.
I love these mini pumpkin pies because they don’t use a traditional pie crust. Pie crust can be tricky to work with, especially for new cooks, but these pies use a really unique dough made with butter, flour, and cream cheese. It has a soft moldable texture that is super forgiving and easy to work with. …Because the last thing you need to worry about on Thanksgiving is cracked pie dough.
Make A Double Batch of Mini Pumpkin Pies
As I mentioned above, this recipe basically uses half of the “filling” for a regular-sized pumpkin pie. So you can use your favorite pumpkin pie filling recipe, or even the pumpkin pie recipe on the label of your can of pumpkin purée and just divide it by two to fill 12 of these mini pumpkin pies. Or use the whole recipe and make 24 mini pumpkin pies!
Can I Make them Ahead?
Yes, you can make these mini pumpkin pies one day ahead of time. When preparing them in advance, allow the pies to cool completely to room temperature before covering and refrigerating. You can also freeze the pumpkin pies, but the quality is much better when fresh or refrigerated. So freezing is a great way to enjoy the leftovers for longer, but I wouldn’t freeze before serving to guests.
Pumpkin Pie Topping Options
You can leave the pumpkin pies bare (I love the color they add to a Thanksgiving spread), or you can top them with whipped cream and a little sprinkle of cinnamon. If you plan to let the pumpkin pies sit out for a while, like as part of a Friendsgiving buffet, you may want to use a stabilized whipped cream to make sure the whipped cream doesn’t collapse as it sits (whip 1 Tbsp cornstarch into every cup of homemade whipped cream to stabilize).
Mini Pumpkin Pies
- 8 Tbsp salted butter, room temperature ($0.80)
- 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature ($0.58)
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.07)
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar ($0.01)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Make the pie crust first. Add the butter and cream cheese to a bowl and use a mixer to beat them together until light and fluffy.
- Beat 1 Tbsp sugar into the butter and cream cheese, then begin to beat in the flour, about ¼ cup at a time, until all of it has been incorporated. The result will be a very soft dough.
- Divide the dough into four equal pieces, then divide each piece into three so you have 12 equal-sized pieces total. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then drop each one into the well of a muffin tin. Use your fingers to press the dough down into the center and up the sides of the wells (see step by step photos below for more help).
- Next, make the pie filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, evaporated milk, egg, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
- Divide the filling between the twelve pie shells (about 3 Tbsp each).
- Bake the pies for 35 minutes, or until the edges of the pie crusts are golden and the filling is slightly cracked on top.
- Remove the muffin tin from the oven and allow the pies to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. After about 10 minutes they should be solid enough to safely remove. Slide a knife around the outer edge of each one until they pop out. Finish cooling the pies on a wire rack.
- Serve the pies at room temperature, or transfer them to the refrigerator once cooled for longer storage (up to four days).
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How to Make Mini Pumpkin Pies – Step by Step Photos
Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need for these mini pumpkin pies. The ingredients are all super simple pantry staples: flour, sugar, eggs, butter, cream cheese, evaporated milk, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin purée, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
Start by preheating the oven to 350ºF. Next, add 8 Tbsp room temperature butter and 4 oz. room temperature cream cheese to a bowl.
Beat the butter and cream cheese together until they’re evenly combined and fluffy.
Beat 1 Tbsp sugar into the butter and cream cheese, then start adding the flour, about ¼ cup at a time, beating until it is incorporated (1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour total). The end result will be a very soft dough. No dry flour should remain on the bottom of the bowl.
Divide the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. To do this, divide the dough into four equal-sized pieces. From there, divide each piece into three equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them into the wells of a muffin tin. Use your fingers to press the dough down and up the sides of the muffin tin wells. Make sure to get down into the corners of the well where a lot of the dough can accumulate and get too thick.
Next, it’s time to make the pumpkin pie filling. Whisk together ½ of a 15oz. can of pumpkin purée (about ⅞ of a cup), 1 large egg, ¾ cup evaporated milk, ¼ cup sugar, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, and ¼ tsp salt.
Divide the pumpkin filling among the 12 pie shells. The easiest way to do this is to use a 2 Tbsp scoop or measuring cup and add 2 Tbsp to each one first, then go back and add a bit more to each one until the filling is used up. It ends up being about 3 Tbsp filling per pie.
Bake the pumpkin pies in the fully preheated 350ºF oven for 35 minutes or until the crusts are golden brown and the filling is slightly cracked on top. Allow the pies to cool in the muffin tin for about 10 minutes so they can solidify a bit before attempting removal. Once they’re slightly cooled, run a knife around the edge of each one and they will pop right out!
Allow the pies to finish cooling on a cooling rack. Remember, make sure they are fully cooled to room temperature before refrigeration to prevent condensation. Refrigerated pumpkin pies will stay good in the refrigerator for four days.